ISLAMABAD: Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the first China-Arab States Summit and the China-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and pay a state visit to the country from December 7 to 10 on the invitation of its King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
In a report released in early December, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs described the summit as a milestone event. Leaders of both sides will take the opportunity to plan future cooperation while pushing for the upgrade of bilateral relations and consolidating consensus on global governance, development, security and other critical issues.
Titled “China-Arab Cooperation in the New Era,” the report emphasized fast-growing bilateral trade ties and people-to-people exchanges as well as mutual support and shared commitment to core issues.
China remains the biggest trading partner of Arab countries. In 2021, the bilateral trade volume was roughly $330 billion, a year-on-year increase of 37 percent.
China is willing to jointly promote high-quality cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with Arab States, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a congratulatory letter to the fifth China-Arab States Expo last year.
Noting that the traditional friendship between the peoples of China and Arab states has become stronger over time, Xi said that China and Arab states have continued to strengthen strategic coordination and synergy of actions in recent years and the joint construction of the Belt and Road has achieved fruitful results.
Co-organized by China Media Group (CMG) and the Ministry of Media of Saudi Arabia, the 2022 Chinese-Arab Media Cooperation Forum was held successfully on Monday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Over 150 guests, including government officials, representatives of media organizations and scholars from China and 22 Arab countries, participated in the forum.
Over the years, China has expanded cooperation with Arab countries in developing renewable energy including solar, wind and hydropower energy. Together, they have set up the China-Arab clean energy training center, the Chinese-Egyptian Renewable Energy Laboratory, and implemented cooperation projects such as the 800-megawatt Al Kharsaah Solar Power Plant in Qatar and 186 megawatt solar power stations at the Benban Solar Energy Park in Egypt.
To date, China has signed BRI cooperation agreements with 20 Arab states and the Arab League. The two sides have carried out more than 200 large-scale cooperation projects in energy, infrastructure and other fields, benefiting nearly 2 billion people.
“All told, China-Arab cooperation in the new era is a powerful vision to guide entire communities towards a future of multi-pronged progression,” Hannan Hussain, former assistant researcher at Islamabad Policy Research Institute, wrote in an opinion piece.